Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 233
# 21
02-28-2013, 05:00 AM
Thank you for all these great comments (minus the obvious trolls). I will not argue that the current lockbox system has many benefits for Cryptic in the immediate now but I am thinking about a few years down the line.

I just cannot believe Cryptic are going to encourage more people to play the game if they keep having ridiculous prices for Starbase Upgrades/Weapons and ships limited to getting in random chance.

I does seem like they are getting as much money out of the game now as they can before they alienate the player-base so much that people do not want to pay anymore for ships. Unfortunately, the JHAS does have game breaking stats compared to other vessels and this is a pretty obvious marketing ploy on Cryptic's behalf... I understand it but I don't agree with it.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,063
# 22
02-28-2013, 05:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by warbird001 View Post
Thank you for all these great comments (minus the obvious trolls). I will not argue that the current lockbox system has many benefits for Cryptic in the immediate now but I am thinking about a few years down the line.

I just cannot believe Cryptic are going to encourage more people to play the game if they keep having ridiculous prices for Starbase Upgrades/Weapons and ships limited to getting in random chance.

I does seem like they are getting as much money out of the game now as they can before they alienate the player-base so much that people do not want to pay anymore for ships. Unfortunately, the JHAS does have game breaking stats compared to other vessels and this is a pretty obvious marketing ploy on Cryptic's behalf... I understand it but I don't agree with it.
I am loathe to comment on this because I have thought of this exact same problem. However, since chances are this post won't do a whole lot for or against the problem one way or another, might as well toss in my $.02.

Simple fact of the matter is that STO makes its money on selling "subscriptions" and "stuff." And as a F2P game most of their cash is going to come from "stuff." What happens when you have enough "stuff?" Buying drops off. What happens when they add new "stuff?" You might or might not buy it. What happens when you've upgraded "stuff" so much that you're sick of it, or you refuse to play the gambling game to upgrade your "stuff," or it's too expensive?...

Less purchases, of that I am sure, and that is what I think people are concerned with.

The most obvious thing to do with this is, as I can see it, continuing to add things to build, ships, etc. but even that will hit its limit. An ultimate end goal might well be a kickstarter scheme, which I suspect would work pretty darn well so long as they didn't take the money/zen until AFTER whatever content is guaranteed, e.g. you toss 500 zen towards a kickstarter for an FE series, but you can pull it out until they hit the 150K zen goal to actually produce it.

So I dunno. It makes me nervous for a few years down the line. I want STO to be around for a long, long time. Paradoxically I also want my gear to be good for a long time. I am, however, an anomaly as I subscribe for just this reason, to contribute a bit in my own way even though I can go months without touching the C-Store. On this note, I believe it would be healthy for the game's long-term longevity to give actual incentives for maintaining a subscription above and beyond what's there - as-is it's most economical to just sub for one month, make the toons you want, get the bonuses you want for them, and let it lapse. While with a sub people may not cough up $200 in one go, a steady stream of $15/month is probably better.

How do other F2P games take care of this, anyway? It seems like certain aspects of F2P severely limit the longevity of a game - and as people get sick of watching MMOs die due to it the entire genre will start to come apart a bit as people are unwilling to invest in a shiny that won't be around.

Last edited by red01999; 02-28-2013 at 05:12 AM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 233
# 23
02-28-2013, 05:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by red01999 View Post
I am loathe to comment on this because I have thought of this exact same problem. However, since chances are this post won't do a whole lot for or against the problem one way or another, might as well toss in my $.02.

Simple fact of the matter is that STO makes its money on selling "subscriptions" and "stuff." And as a F2P game most of their cash is going to come from "stuff." What happens when you have enough "stuff?" Buying drops off. What happens when they add new "stuff?" You might or might not buy it. What happens when you've upgraded "stuff" so much that you're sick of it, or you refuse to play the gambling game to upgrade your "stuff," or it's too expensive?...

Less purchases, of that I am sure, and that is what I think people are concerned with.

The most obvious thing to do with this is, as I can see it, continuing to add things to build, ships, etc. but even that will hit its limit. An ultimate end goal might well be a kickstarter scheme, which I suspect would work pretty darn well so long as they didn't take the money/zen until AFTER whatever content is guaranteed, e.g. you toss 500 zen towards a kickstarter for an FE series, but you can pull it out until they hit the 150K zen goal to actually produce it.

So I dunno. It makes me nervous for a few years down the line. I want STO to be around for a long, long time. Paradoxically I also want my gear to be good for a long time. I am, however, an anomaly as I subscribe for just this reason, to contribute a bit in my own way even though I can go months without touching the C-Store. On this note, I believe it would be healthy for the game's long-term longevity to give actual incentives for maintaining a subscription above and beyond what's there - as-is it's most economical to just sub for one month, make the toons you want, get the bonuses you want for them, and let it lapse. While with a sub people may not cough up $200 in one go, a steady stream of $15/month is probably better.

How do other F2P games take care of this, anyway? It seems like certain aspects of F2P severely limit the longevity of a game - and as people get sick of watching MMOs die due to it the entire genre will start to come apart a bit as people are unwilling to invest in a shiny that won't be around.
Hence my comment about the "vicious circle"... Personally I think Cryptic are waiting to shelve this project for Neverwinter and are currently using the profits from this game and Champions Online to fund that project instead of putting the money back into STO's development.

I would hate to think about it but I would suspect that they are trying to milk the game for all the can now before abandoning it for neverwinter. I would like to see a dev post contesting this appraisal but I just think the rise in prices at the Z-Store and the current lockbox scheme supports this idea.

This is why we are seeing minimal development while Neverwinter is in development itself. Cryptic have a history of gutting other games to supplement another project. Look what happened to Champion's Online to make way for Star Trek: Online. The game received rather bad reviews to begin with and probably was not the cash cow that Cryptic thought it was so it went free-to-play.

To me, free to play models are just a way to milk the game for all the money you can before sacrificing it to another project. There are other MMO models rather then free-to-play.

Last edited by warbird001; 02-28-2013 at 05:40 AM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,614
# 24
02-28-2013, 05:58 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by warbird001 View Post
Hence my comment about the "vicious circle"... Personally I think Cryptic are waiting to shelve this project for Neverwinter and are currently using the profits from this game and Champions Online to fund that project instead of putting the money back into STO's development.

I would hate to think about it but I would suspect that they are trying to milk the game for all the can now before abandoning it for neverwinter. I would like to see a dev post contesting this appraisal but I just think the rise in prices at the Z-Store and the current lockbox scheme supports this idea.

This is why we are seeing minimal development while Neverwinter is in development itself. Cryptic have a history of gutting other games to supplement another project. Look what happened to Champion's Online to make way for Star Trek: Online. The game received rather bad reviews to begin with and probably was not the cash cow that Cryptic thought it was so it went free-to-play.

To me, free to play models are just a way to milk the game for all the money you can before sacrificing it to another project. There are other MMO models rather then free-to-play.
Abandoning it for Neverwinter would mean fewer employees and lost audience. That argument has never made any sense to me.

Besides, why would you worry about PWE's most successful name in North America (STO) when CO is probably on much tinner ice.

And on the whole, Cryptic doesn't want to focus on one game. They have two more in the works for after Neverwinter. They want as many games as possible.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,614
# 25
02-28-2013, 06:02 AM
BTW, I heard awhile back that Cryptic has people working at a second site besides Los Gatos now. Never got any confirmation about that... But I don't think Cryptic's goal is to stay the same size or shrink. If they could have 10 games with 750 develpers, they'd do it.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 44
# 26
02-28-2013, 06:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoleviathan99 View Post
Abandoning it for Neverwinter would mean fewer employees and lost audience. That argument has never made any sense to me.
"Lockboxes are doom for the game! DOOOOOOOOOOOOOM."
"Oh look, our long-term big spenders are buying these things like hotcakes. We're the most successful game in all of PWE! Let's hire a ton of devs."
"Well, uh, OK, uh, maybe not doom now but, uh, soon! Really. We mean it this time. Doom."
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 233
# 27
02-28-2013, 06:12 AM
Surely its better to have 1 game of great quality then 10 mediocre games, don't you think? There still is a need for a lot of development for this game.
Captain
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 659
# 28
02-28-2013, 07:34 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by warbird001 View Post
Surely its better to have 1 game of great quality then 10 mediocre games, don't you think? There still is a need for a lot of development for this game.
There are many online gamers, possibly most online gamers, who hop (or flit) between multiple games they play. This was, in no small part, the reason why so many games have abandoned the subscription model of revenue in favor of the cash shop model. So it is actually better for the publisher to have as many games as possible appealing to the broadest possible player base.

The quality of the individual games only has to be 'just good enough' to capture the players' attention and get them to play the game recurrently, not consistently. Having only one game, no matter how great the quality, means the publisher is only appealing to a niche segment of the market. WoW may have hit the market like an 8,000 pound gorilla, but that is actually an aberration when you look at the history of MMOs.
Career Officer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 623
# 29
02-28-2013, 07:53 AM
Personally, my only real problem with lockboxes was the attempt to pass them off as actual content.

Any F2P game needs a steady revenue stream of some type, and judging by the "so and so has unlocked such and such" messages that flash across my screen every minute or so, the lockboxes are doing their intended jobs.

As a recent legal case in Japan showed, the only real thing that would ever stop lockboxes is if a government decided to prosecute for violation of gambling laws. Other than that there will always be the "ooooh shiney" crowd that will happily plop down a hundred bucks to get that new ship (I'm guilty of this twice, as I had to have the Jem'Hadar Attack Ship and Wells Class vessel).

I wish that we saw some actual fruits of our labor. What does Cryptic do with all tha money they make (not using it to fix bugs, that's for sure ).
Most JJ Trek hate = IDIC fail.
Quote:
Most who don't like the new Star Trek either didn't like TOS, don't remember TOS, or didn't see TOS
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,202
# 30
02-28-2013, 08:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by warbird001 View Post
Hence my comment about the "vicious circle"... Personally I think Cryptic are waiting to shelve this project for Neverwinter and are currently using the profits from this game and Champions Online to fund that project instead of putting the money back into STO's development.
I've been reading this thread carefully and didn't want to post in here but when I read this i was like

The team size has doubled in a year, which means all your complaint about a low quality game and not enough investment is wrong. Maybe you don't like the season 7 content (but most people praised it when it's been released anyway, I remember unending threads saying how awsome new romulus and the 2 new stfs were), but you're unfair when you say there's no investment.

FYI, Stahl mentionned two different possibilities after lockboxes:
- new factions, which means new fleets, new fleet ships, new c-store ships, costumes, lockboxes sells because you want your Roluman temporal destroyer, and so on.
- improving lockboxes. He said that in an interview recently. While I'm not sure it's a good idea, because it means that they will introduce even more powerful stuff with power creep issues, it's in the works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by warbird001 View Post
To me, free to play models are just a way to milk the game for all the money you can before sacrificing it to another project. There are other MMO models rather then free-to-play.
Hm I don't know, I know fore sure a F2P game which has been here for at least 5 years so... Anyway, people are free to pay or not. A new lockbox doesn't mean you have to open one if you got your ship with the last box.

My grievance with boxes is rather ethical, it's an attempt to make money on people's psychological weaknesses, especially gambling addictions and excitement, but I guess ethics aren't a major concern in this thread or at cryptic.
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